Reading Resolutions

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 at 9:18 am

January is the time of year when book bloggers everywhere are listing their reading resolutions, joining reading challenges, and otherwise posting plans for the year’s reading.

And I am stuck trying to figure out if I should join in.

First, am I a book blogger? I suppose that’s the niche I fit in best, if a niche I am to fill. But I am just erratic enough that I am unsure.

Second, dare I write resolutions this year? My pregnancy and the expected new addition to our family is just one obvious reason to keep my expectations low this year. Then again, my last pregnancy didn’t keep me from reading in the least. But we’ll be moving out to Prairie Elms in less than two weeks – and I have a feeling THAT will put a definite damper on reading, at least for this first bit of the year.

I’d love to participate in Carrie’s Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge this January as I have for the past several years. But I’m packing away our home and preparing it to be sold. Will I have time to read?

I’d love to participate in Barbara’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge in February. But I’ll be settling us into our new home (and potentially still working on getting our current home saleable or rentable.) Will I have time to read?

I’d like to participate in July’s Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge at Reading to Know, but that should be serious nesting time. Will reading factor into my nesting this time around?

As year-long (or almost year-long) challenges go, I’d really like to join with Amy’s Newbery Through the Decades Challenge. But I’ll be skipping at least the first month, and I don’t know how things will go from there.

I’d also love to do Tim Challies’ Visual Theology Reading Challenge. But… see above.

So I may or may not participate in one or all of the above.

What I do know for sure is that I want to make some adjustments to my reading this year.

As I’ve reflected on my recent reading, I’ve realized that I’ve been doing a lot of “how to” reading. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with that sort of stuff. It’s valuable to read about parenting and childbirth and breastfeeding and whatnot. But a diet consisting entirely of how to just isn’t right.

So I’ve resolved to try to balance my reading in 2016 around five categories.

Books for Loving

These are books that serve to deepen my love for God. They’re books on the nature and acts of God. Books about the nature and effects of salvation. They’re books that cause me to wonder at and worship the great God of the universe.

Books for Growing

These are books that help me meet goals. This is where those “how to” books can fit. Books to help me communicate better. Books to help me parent more effectively. Books to help me keep my house clean or to organize my days. Books about gardening or cooking. They’re books that help me grow in the areas I’ve identified as needing growth.

Books for Knowing

These are books that help me gain general knowledge. History, Biography, Sociology. Books about disease processes (not necessarily “how to fix this disease”). Books about politics or current events. Books about economics or foreign policy. Things that stretch and expand my mind, that expose me to new ideas.

Books for Seeing

If books for knowing help me gain general knowledge, books for seeing help me gain understanding of the human state. These books help me understand human emotion, human relationships, human problems – not from a clinical standpoint but on an experiential level. This is the place for literature and poetry, for delving into the complexities of human interaction in a way nonfiction can’t.

Books for Enjoying

While I’ve often considered this category escapism, I’m realizing that it’s important that I include the books I read for sheer enjoyment in my regular rotation. Reading adventure novels from John Flanagan’s “Ranger’s Apprentice” series or Regency Romances from Georgette Heyer aren’t simply an escape. They’re an opportunity for me to step back, to lose myself in a story, to laugh and to recharge. Yes, I can’t let these become all I read, but having escaped into one of these on a semi-regular basis allows me to return to “real life” a better and more relaxed woman. So these too will be a part of my regular reading this year.

Reader Comments (3):

  1. Barbara H. says:

    Yes, a year with pregnancy, a toddler, a move, and a new baby isn’t a time for extensive book lists and challenges. I like how you’ve divided up different categories. Different periods of my life I’ve leaned more toward one category or another – nowadays it’s a little more balanced.

    I have wondered, too, whether I should write so much about books since those posts have the least comments and views. But I like to write about them for myself, so that I remember what I thought or learned from them. I’ve thought often about creating a separate book blog but keep resisting so far. What I read is a big part of who I am, so I’d like to keep it all together. Plus I don’t like when bloggers constantly refer a reader to their other blog, so I don’t want to so that to people. :-)

  2. I like these categories. What a lovely way to think about reading goals.

Leave a Reply